If you've ever wondered how on earth photographers get all those cute, sleepy babies into perfect position for their photos, you're not alone.
My name is Emily, I'm Tiffany's studio manager, and I'm right there with you.
Prior to working for Tiffany, I'd see pictures of newborns and think,
"Awww, how cute!
...But wait — how do they get their arms to stay like that? (And is it safe?)"
I have a background in several different photography business-related areas, but understanding how to handle a 12-day old baby on the set of a photo shoot was definitely not in my repertoire.
Which is why within the first week of my new job, the night before an early morning newborn shoot, I asked Tiffany, in slightly nervous fashion,
"Umm, can I come watch?"
She laughed and smiled.
"Of course! It'll be good training for you to see what goes on behind the scenes. Just be prepared — newborns can be difficult."
HEALTH + SAFETY
I arrived the next morning around 8 a.m. Tiffany greeted me at the door with a hug; her hair pulled back in a Pinterest-worthy bun and a fresh cup of coffee in her hands.
I set my purse down on a chair and looked around. "Wow, the studio is immaculate."
She covered her mouth for a small yawn. "Yeah, my cleaning team was here at 6."
I shook my head. "Your house cleaner comes at 6 a.m.?"
She smiled and nodded.
(Not sure why that should've been news to me, but alas, it was.)
THE STUDIO SETTING
"Would you like any tea or coffee?"
Our 9 a.m. clients had arrived with their little bundle in tow and were seated on the couch, awaiting the magic to begin.
I headed back to the kitchen, passing Tiffany in the hall as she carried out a box of newborn wraps and blankets.
Tiffany and our new mom client began to sort through the box, pairing adorable little wool hats and wraps with several of our popular newborn props — a vintage scale, the tiniest little bed, and other unique finds Tiffany often spends hours scouring the internet for.
(Note: All newborn props come standard in our packages, but we can work with whatever clients bring in as well!)
THE REAL MAGIC: TIFFANY'S TOUCH
The studio was silent. Tiffany stood holding the baby — not even 2 weeks old; gently rocking her back and forth.
Her parents and I stood watching, the sound of the heater buzzing.
I had no idea she would be interacting this much with the baby, I thought. Standing there observing her carefully lay her down on a big fluffy blanket.
(I'd always assumed that the parents would be handling the baby.)
This repeated about ten more times. (Cry, calm, position. Cry, calm, re-position.)
20 minutes later, when the baby was finally into perfect place, I looked at our clients and smiled. Now fully understanding why our newborn sessions are 3 hours long!
Several outfit changes, prop switch outs, feedings, diaper changes, and atmospheric mommy/daddy/baby photos later, our clients were out the door. A bit tired, but excited to see all of their beautiful photos.
I turned and smiled at Tiffany.
THE PHOTO REVIEW PROCESS
Two weeks later this same little family of 3 was back in the studio, sitting in front of Tiffany's large screen iMac. Choosing their final selections, and discussing their retouching requests.
Tiffany was so knowledgeable in her explanation. ("Not to worry, we can retouch the diaper rash on her butt. And the same for the bruises on her leg, which I'm assuming are from birth?")
I made a mental note to ask her after the session: How do you know all this stuff?! (And how are you so good at understanding babies?)
Apparently I wasn't the only curious one though, because not 10 seconds later did our first-time daddy client lean in and ask Tiffany exactly that.
She sat back in her chair and let out a small sigh.
I nodded my head as she spoke. It seemed like such a simple and straight forward reply, but it made complete sense.
THE REWARD OF MEMORIES
Following the photo review, a couple more weeks passed and we'd finally sent over all finalized photos.
We received a near instant reply.
I saw the email come through and smiled. Wow, no wonder this is her dream job!